Hi everyone, My name is Kelly Paradis and I have long been connected in a special way to the Ehrhardt family. When I saw Caroline looking for a sponsor on Social Media last night I couldn't believe that our small town wouldn't be able to help her out. I have convinced Caroline to share this information with me and allow me to start this go fund me page for her. For those of you who do not know her, she is a proud hard working individual, (qualities instilled in her by both her mom Judy Hennessy and her dad Klaus Ehrhardt) She was reluctant to commit to this as she feels her home town of Espanola Ontario has already done so much for her Athletic endeavours. What she may forget is that small towns are family and we never stop helping each other. Everyone in our small town has some connection to Caroline Ehrhardt, they've taught her, coached her, babysat her etc. If each of us could commit a small amount we could certainly help her move closer to realizing her Lifelong dream of representing Canada at the Olympic Games. If you know someone with a connection to Caroline who doesn't have access to this page, please inform them and encourage them to help her out. I am asking for slightly more that Caroline has accounted for (see below), since we all know there is rarely a travel experience without unexpected expenses. Once we reach our goal, the campaign will be closed and the funds transferred directly to Caroline so she can begin planning her trip.
California Training Camp and Competition Series – Azusa, California April 2nd – 19th, 2020
MAIN EXPENSES Airfare (for me + coach): $1038 Accommodations: $1475 Car (to travel to training and various competitions throughout LA area): $650
This trip will allow me to kick start my season in a warmer climate. I need to be ranked top 32 in the world by July 1st to qualify for the Olympics (there’s a bit more to it than this but this is how it works for the most part). I finished last season ranked 40th. If I were to wait until the snow melted in Canada before I started competing to improve my world ranking, I would simply run out of time – so this trip is imperative this year. Not only will I get 3 competitions out of this trip but I will get almost 3 weeks of high quality training that simply isn’t possible on the indoor track and that I train at.
I’ve never had a large amount of athletic funding from my provincial and national sport organizations but I’ve always had a little indirect help, such as the cost of my physiotherapy being covered, or my coach’s expenses being covered, etc. This year (as of right now), I have no funding at all – despite winning my 8th national title last year and jumping a personal best just 23cm off the Canadian record.
I work as much as I possibly can. Some days this means leaving the house at 7:30am to work for 6 hours before heading straight to 4 hours of training. Because I’ve always had limited funding, this is normal to me, and I’ve found ways to make this work, but it’s when planning trips like this that I realize it’s simply not enough and I can only support this dream on my own to a certain extent.
I know for a fact that just about anyone ranked above me globally has the funding that allows them to train full-time and thus they don’t encounter these financial stresses as often and as intensely as I do. Some days it feels impossible to compete against people with seemingly limitless opportunities and resources. But through it all I am grateful for my struggle because I know it gave me the character and resilience to make it to this point. I want to show people that your circumstances don’t have to be perfect to achieve the things you want, in fact your circumstances can be downright adversarial – but if you believe in yourself, have the work ethic, and are fortunate enough to have an army of supporters – you can make anything happen.
I am humbly asking for the support of anyone interested in being a part of this journey. Sometimes I still find it unbelievable that I am even still doing this. I stayed behind from a field trip to Science North in the second grade because it was scheduled on the same day as track and field day at the Espanola track. Everyone wanted to go lay on the bed of nails and see the beaver. I just wanted to jump – and 2 decades later, I still just want to jump. Maybe this summer I can do it in Tokyo, and that stubborn red head kid who was crazy enough to turn down a trip to Science North can be the first female triple jumper to ever represent Canada at the Olympics. I used to think, if no one’s ever been able to accomplish that before, why me? But lately I’m thinking – why not me?